The Lahontan Group I-III, 1985-87, is comprised of three related projects, Ancient Shoreline ((Island for Lake Lahontan) and Talking Tree/Glacial Epoch, both commissioned by the University of Nevada, Reno in 1985 and 1987 respectively, and Vanishing Ship (Greenhouse for Lake Lahontan), commissoned by the UC Berkeley Museum in 1987 for their MATRIX exhibition series, curated by Constance Lewallan.

Inspired by the disapearance of Lake Lahontan and as an elegy for the Ice Ages, The Lahontan Group I-III, was initiated by a commision of the kiln project, Ancient Shoreline (Island for Lake Lahontan) in 1985, which fired to nearly 2000 degrees F., and it's fired product, the 20 ft. diameter, Black Coral Starfish Element, composed of black clay slip dipped sage and veins of turquoise Egyptian paste. Talking Tree/Glacial Epoch, engages a rebuild version of the the "fish head" component of Ancient Shoreline.., in a symbolic conversation between the Pleistocene (ice age) represented by the artificial snow encrusted fish head, and the Antohropocene/Holocene (contemporary) climate represented by white alder trees, entangling and elevating the metal structure as it grows. Vanishing Ship (Greenhouse for Lake Lahontan), contains misting water and sediment from Pyramid Lake, in a sealed greenhouse, test tube-like environment, installed near a source of sunlight, encouraging chemical and biological interactions within.

Ancient Lake Lahontan was an enormous endorheic lake that existed during the Pleistocene, ice ages, covering much of northwestern Nevada, extending into northeastern California and southern Oregon. At its peak approximately 12,700 years ago ("Sehoo Highstand"), the lake had a surface area of about 8,500 square miles (20,700 km_), with its largest component centered at the location of the present Carson Sink. The depth of the lake was approximately 800 feet (240 m) at present day Pyramid Lake, and 500 feet (150 m) at the Black Rock Desert. Pyramid Lake and Walker Lake are among the last living, Anthropocene/Holocene, remnants of Lake Lahontan.

The fish and starfish-like imagery for Ancient Shoreline (Island for Lake Lahontan) and Talking Tree/Glacial Epoch are related to both the Nevada state fossil, the Ichthyosaur, an immense fish-like creature of the Mesozoic Era and Native American stories of large creatures living in lakes of that region, in particular, Lake Tahoe, the natural, primary, source of water for contemporary Pyramid Lake connected to Lake Tahoe by the Truckee River, which is also the ultimate source of the water included within Vanishing Ship (Greenhouse for Lake Lahontan).

U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2323
Extent of Pleistocene Lakes in the Western Great Basin
by Marith Reheis, see: